Saturday, May 29, 2010

On-Demand: Daniel Monzón's CELL 211, one of 2009's top films

Prison movie aficionados, lovers of fast-paced thrillers, folk who appreciate films that explore society top-down (and bottom-up) -- rejoice. The film that won most of last year's Goya awards (Spain's "Oscars") and the hit of December 2009's FSLC Spanish Cinema Now series is about to debut from IFC On-Demand this coming Wednesday, June 2, as part of its continuing IFC Midnight series.

CELL 211, co-adapted (with Jorge Guerricaechevarría, from the novel by Francisco Pérez Gandul) and directed by Daniel Monzón, is so rich in excitement and surprise -- without sacrificing an ounce of believability -- that the less you know about it going in, the more you'll enjoy it. (My original review from last December appears here, in which I don't think there are any spoilers afoot.)  If you are looking for a movie that offers both mainstream appeal and quality in everything from writing to direction, acting to theme, you've got one here.

Winning those prized Goyas for Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay, Monzón (shown above, center, with his award-winning co-stars, Luis Tosar, left and Alberto Ammann), is able to involve us immediately in the situation (a whoppingly exciting and original one), maintaining the tension, while adding incident after incident that brings Spanish society -- politics, economics and even terrorism -- to the fore until, without seeming to push any agenda, black has become white and evil good.

Seeing the film a second time, after a delay of several months, TrustMovies found it an even richer experience, so he thinks you should try it at least once. If you're a newcomer to IFC On-Demand, click here to learn the ropes.

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